OKOTOKS, AB (Mar. 12, 2023) — Two days, two games, two nail-biting wins for the Okotoks Oilers over the Camrose Kodiaks.
After falling behind 3–1 in the first period of Saturday’s game at Okotoks Centennial Arena, the Oilers battled back with four unanswered goals to take a 5–3 victory — and a critical 2–0 lead in their AJHL South Division quarterfinal series.
Ty Yoder (Tofield, AB) broke a 3–3 deadlock late in the third period with a quick one-timer from the low slot past Camrose starter Freddie Halyk. Dean Spak (Calgary, AB) and Jackson Rowland (Calgary, AB) picked up the helpers on Yoder’s second career AJHL playoff game-winning goal.
In many ways, the first period was one to forget for the Oilers. Despite tying Camrose with eight shots on goal, they fell behind twice inside the first 10 minutes and gave up a third goal at the 13:51 mark of the frame. Camrose forward Noah Alvarez torched the Oilers for back-to-back goals, converting on both the power play and the penalty kill.
Rylan Brown (Sherwood Park, AB) netted the Oilers’ lone goal of the first period off a mad scramble around the Camrose crease, and the defencemen continued to rule the day into the second. With 13:25 gone in the middle frame, Brown set up Nick Wolfenberg (Calgary, AB) for a bomb from the point to bring the Oilers within one.
The dam finally burst in the third period, with the Oilers scoring early and often to overcome their opposition. First, Hunter Sawka (Cochrane, AB) beat Halyk off a faceoff to tie the game just 93 seconds in; then, at the 13:56 mark, Yoder struck gold to send the Okotoks faithful in the crowd into a frenzy.
Sam Huck (Calgary, AB) capped off the night in brilliant fashion in the dying minutes of regulation, making an absurd move to get past a Camrose defender while entering the zone before beating Halyk from distance to make it 5–3.
The Oilers ultimately outshot the Kodiaks 33–28 in the entertaining victory on home ice. They’ll take a 2–0 series lead into Games 3 and 4 in Camrose on Tuesday and Wednesday. You’ll be able to listen to both those games on The Eagle 100.9 FM.
Recap: Mike Gould
Photo: Logan Coutts